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BellaOnline's Dogs Editor

Air Travel Guide

Revised and Updated - August 2008

Airline Pet Travel Policies


Carry-On Small Pets

Pets as Checked Baggage


Pets as Live Cargo
Air Canada
North America flights-
$50 CAD per direction

International flights -
$100 CAD per direction

You must pre-register your cat or small dog for travel in the cabin. The pet carrier must not exceed the normal carry-on baggage size and weight limitations. It will count as the one standard carry-on item. The number of carry-on pets per flight is limited. You must pre-register your pet within 24 hours of completing your booking. Pets that have not been pre-registered will not be accepted at the airport. All animals are inspected by govt. veterinary officials upon landing. A veterinary inspection fees may be charged.Air Canada's first priority is an animal's safety and comfort. It is recommended that bookings be made a minimum of 24 hours in advance for travel within North America and at least 5 days in advance for travel to international destinations. You do not have to be traveling to send your pet to a destination as Air Canada live Cargo. Shipping of live animals must comply with IATAs Live Animal Regulations. Click Here for pricing.
Air France
Rates are not available on the Air France website.Animals are limited to dogs and cats weighing less than 5 kg. Service animals, such as seeing-eye dogs, regardless of weight and some small mammals and birds.

Your pet must be carried in a vented bag that remains on the floor near your seat. To ensure the comfort and safety of the other passengers, your pet must remain in its bag during the flight.

To avoid potential problems (vaccinations, quarantine), find out about the current regulations in the countries you are flying from and to.

Dogs and cats weighing more than 6 kg. must be transported in the hold.

The captain will be informed that your pet is in the hold and will take the necessary steps to ensure its comfort during the flight (lighting, heating).

The passenger must prepare the animal for the trip and follow the requirements for transport: size of kennel, materials, etc. For their own safety, pets may not be brought on board if their kennel does not comply with requirements. Find out about current regulations - vaccinations, quarantine, etc. in the countries you will be flying from and to.

Air Tran Airways
$69.00 one-way
Accepts small, domesticated cats, dogs and birds that will fit in an approved carrier under the seat. The pet kennel is limited to maximum dimensions of 8.5" high x 17" long x 12" wide. Only 3 pets are allowed per flight and advanced reservations must be made. Seeing Eye dogs are always welcome onboard regardless of the number of pets already booked on the flight.
Alaska Airlines/
Horizon Air
$100.00 each way
A limited number of small pets may travel in the cabin. Advance reservations required. A pet must stay in its container at all times, and be stowed under the seat during takeoff and landing. Animals with offensive odors or those creating a noise disturbance must travel in the baggage compartment.

Pets crossing state borders are required by the USDA to have a health certificate issued within 30 days. Animals traveling within the state of Alaska or across state lines must have proof of rabies vaccination. Proof of Parvo Virus vaccination for animals being transported to Nome or Kotzebue. Service animals are exempt from these certifications. Dogs & cats must be at least 8 weeks old and in good health. A pet in a kennel too small or in obvious distress will be refused travel.

Animals may be checked as passenger baggage, or they may travel unaccompanied by air cargo. Animals are transported in pressurized, temperature controlled aircraft compartments. Approved kennels are available for purchase at all Alaska Airlines Cargo facilities.

Bookings are required at least 24 hours in advance for shipping live animals. If the animal will be traveling on the same flight as a ticketed passenger, call Alaska Airlines Reservations at 1-800-252-7522 or Horizon Air Reservations at 1-800-547-9308. If the animal is to be shipped without a passenger reservation, contact Alaska Airlines Cargo Customer Service at 1-800-225-2752 or Horizon Air GoldStreak Customer Service at 1-800-225-2752.

In the cabin-
$100 per container

Checked Pets-
$150 per container

Seeing eye/hearing ear/service assistant animals and animals trained to search for victims of disaster travel free of charge.

Pets are allowed on flights in the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Puerto Rico and USVI. Pets traveling with passengers must check in at the ticket counter - allow extra time.

For pets in the cabin - maximum size for pet carriers is 23" long x 13" wide x 9" high. A pet kennel counts as a passenger's one carry-on bag. Only one kennel per ticketed passenger in the cabin. The kennel may contain 2 dogs but they must be between 8 weeks and 6 months old and weigh under 20 lbs. Pets may not be removed from their carrier at any time while on-board.
Pets traveling as checked baggage - must be in separate kennels unless they are of the same species, weigh less than 20lbs each and are between 8 wks and 6 mos old. Maximum size for checked kennels is 40" x 27" x 30. Maximum weight of the pet and kennel (combined) - 100lbs. Feeding & watering instructions for a 24 hrs. must be provided. "No food or water" instructions are not acceptable unless directed by the attending veterinarian. AA maintains the right to refuse acceptance of any dog exhibiting aggressive behavior.

For your pet's health & safety, the optimum temperature range for transporting animals is between 50 and 85F at the origin, destination and connecting cities. No snub-nosed animals if the temp. is over 75F. Size & weight limits depend on the type of aircraft operating on your animal's booked routing. A health certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian stating that the animal is healthy enough to travel by air and free of injury & disease dated 10 days or less from the date the animal will be shipped + a current rabies vaccination certificate are both required.

Feeding & watering instructions must be attached to the kennel + an adequate amount of packaged food. If food & water are not required, written instructions from your vet to not feed or water must be attached. AA does not recommend or administer sedation. The effects of a sedative in a pressurized compartment may be quite different than at home and could cause harm to an animal. If tranquilizers are medically necessary, the health certificate must indicate the name of the drug, the dose and how it was administered. AA maintains the right to refuse any animal that exhibits aggressive behavior or does not appear fit to travel.

$50 to $100
A pet carrier must fit under the seat in front of you. Weight restrictions apply.
When pets travel as checked baggage, you must be on the same flight. Combined weight of pet and carrier may be no more than 100 lbs. Advance reservations for pets are required + reconfirm 24-48 hours before departure. Allow up to 2 extra hours for check-in if your pet is not traveling with you in the cabin
If your pet does not qualify for these options, it must travel as cargo. When shipping your pet as cargo, there is no guarantee as to the particular flight your pet will be on, unless you choose priority or "counter-to-counter" shipping.(recommended)
The airline will advise you of costs when you make your reservations.Pets are not permitted in the passenger cabin, but for most destinations you and your pet can travel together on the same flight. Pets are carried in the comfortable environment of the temperature controlled cargo hold. Since the airways experience shows that pets quickly settle down and travel better in the dark, the cargo hold is unlighted. Your dog checks-in with you at the passenger terminal and rejoins you at the baggage area in the destination airport. You need the size and weight of the container, including the pet's weight, to confirm availability of space.Your pet must be checked in at the cargo facility by you, and collected from the cargo facility by you or a nominated person. The travel container should meet International Air Transportation Association specifications. Pets are carried in the cargo hold, located underneath the passenger cabin. It is temperature controlled and provides a comfortable environment during flight.

These breeds,including cross-breeds, will not be accepted for travel - American Pit Bulls, Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosas, Fila Brazileiros, and Togo Argentinos. These snub-nosed dogs suffer from respiratory problems that increase with stress so they cannot be accepted for travel - English Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekinese. This restriction does not apply to cross-breeds.

Continental Airlines
$125.00 each way
$250.00 round trip
for in-cabin pets.
Continental allows small pets to be carried in the aircraft cabin on all domestic flights (except to/ from Hawaii). In-cabin pets are not counted as part of your free baggage allowance and are subject to an $80 service charge each way . Pets must be carried in an approved in-cabin kennel. The pet must be able to comfortably stand up and turn around in the kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat forward of the customer.

Continental does not accept pets as checked baggage

Pets can travel as QUICKPAK, a cargo service with same day, airport-to-airport delivery to ensure a pet's comfort and safety. It includes constant monitoring of weather conditions and personal handling in climate-controlled vehicles for connections at hubs whenever the animal will be exposed to temperatures above 85 degrees for more than 45 minutes. You can also track your pets itinerary online.Contact the Live Animal Desk(1-800-575-3335 or 281-553-5052) for rates and other information.
Pets as carry on -
$150 one-way

As Checked Baggage -
$275 one-way

Small pets are allowed in the cabin as carry-on in suitable hard or soft-sided kennels small enough to stow beneath the seat directly in front of you.
Because extreme heat can put an animal in a life threatening situation, Delta has placed an embargo on accepting pets as checked bags during hot weather....Pets are not accepted as checked baggage from May 15 through September 15.
Delta Pet First is service for the comfort and safety of pets traveling as cargo. They have temperature-controlled animal holding areas 4 hub cities. To transport your pet as checked baggage or cargo, you must use a shipping kennel approved by the USDA. A health certificate is required. Delta will not accept animals as checked baggage or cargo if at any point during the animal's trip the temperature is forecast to be below 20F or above 85F for most breeds - 70 F for snub/pug-nosed breeds.
Frontier Airlines
$100-$200 one-way
based on kennel size
Frontier is discontinuing its pets in the cabin program.

Two animals per passenger are allowed as checked baggage. A health certificate, issued within 10 days of originating travel + a rabies certificate is required. The animal must be harmless, inoffensive, odorless, and require no attention during transit.

The animal must be in a leakproof container, large enough for the animal to turn around and stand up, and ventilated on at least 2 sides. It must be constructed of of metal, wood, polyethylene plastic or material of similar strength and contain a water bowl and have absorbent material on the bottom. If the forecasted temperature in any city in the itinerary is above 80F or below 32F, the pet may be denied boarding.
Japan Airlines
A charge will be applied separately from the free baggage allowance, for pets as carry-on and as checked baggage.

Seeing-eye dogs and hearing dogs can be carried without a pet charge.

There are 3 ways to transport pets on JAL - as carry-on, as checked baggage, or as cargo. For carry-on, dogs must be healthy and not trouble other passengers. Linear dimensions of the crate cannot exceed 45". A dog must be able to to stand up, lay down, & change directions in the crate. Crates must meet IATA standards and be locked & ventilated. Reservations are accepted for dogs traveling as carry-on or in checked baggage if there is available space.Only 1 dog can be carried in a crate. Pets may not be accepted if the weather is too warm or too cold. Items for customs clearance and quarantine must be prepared by the customer. JAL is not responsible for any accident, illness, or death during transportation. You must submit a declaration of indemnity at the departing airport.
$100 each way
JetBlue accepts small cats & dogs in the passenger cabin of the aircraft. Only one pet allowed per customer unless you are bringing a certified service animal or documented emotional support animal. Your pet must fit in a carrier smaller than 18"x15"x8" and must be placed under the seat in front of you. Combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 20 lbs.
$100 USD each way
Dogs and cats must have health certificates issued within 10 days of transport. The owner must travel on same flight with the pet and must provide a leakproof kennel for air transportation. The maximum size for a kennel to fit under the seat is 18" x 20" x 9".Larger kennels will have to be checked-in to be placed in the baggage cabin and must have a maximum size 24" x 36" x 24".
Midwest Express
$100 each way
Midwest will allow a maximum of 3 small dogs or cats in approved soft-sided carriers in the cabin of the aircraft. One animal per carrier. An advance reservation must be made. The passenger accompanying the pet must be at least 15 years of age. This policy does not affect the status of trained service animals. The pet must have a current veterinarian health certificate. If another passenger without a pet refuses to board due to a pet onboard, the passenger with the pet will be accommodated on a later flight.Midwest will transport one pet per container in the cargo compartment. The total number of kennels accepted for transport on a particular flight will be determined by the capacity of the aircraft. Pets must be accompanied by a ticketed passenger at least 15 years of age. Advance arrangements must be made, and the kennel must be inspected and approved by Midwest. Pet must have a current veterinarian health certificate. Brachycephalic dogs and cats will not be transported when temperatures at any point on the itinerary exceed 75F. Pets requiring a muzzle will not be accepted.
Northwest Airlines
$100 one-way
for carry-on pets

$175 - $230
as checked luggage

$260 - $620
for pets traveling alone in cargo.

No fee will be assessed for service animals.
Small dogs may travel as carry-on luggage. The animal must be less than 15 pounds, with kennel. The dog must fit comfortably in a kennel placed under the seat.

You may also transport a dog as checked luggage on your flight. Animals must be under 100 pounds, with kennel, for domestic travel and 150 pounds for international travel. Advise the agent when you make your reservation that you will be bringing an animal in addition to your carry-on luggage or that your pet will be traveling with you as checked luggage.

NWA Cargo provides safe transport for unaccompanied animals in temperature- controlled holds. Pets can travel via VIP same day service. For this service, pets must be under 100 pounds. Call Northwest Cargo at 1-800-NWCARGO (1-800-692-2746) to make a reservation at least 24 hours prior to travel. NWA general cargo service provides the most economical, unaccompanied animal travel in a large array of container sizes.

They will not accept animals when the temperature at any point on the itinerary is below 10 F or above 85F (75F maximum for snub-nosed dogs)

Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines does not accept live animals other than animals trained to assist persons with disabilities. Southwest Airlines does not accept pets for transportation in the cabin of their aircraft or in the cargo hold. If you travel on Southwest Airlines, you must make other arrangements for the transportation of your pets.
$100 each way

Service animals are allowed in the cabin at no charge.

Spirit allows small animals to travel in the cabin. The animal must be in an approved container. One or more similar animals may be in the same container so long as each pet is free to stand in an upright position and freely move about the container. Soft sided containers are allowed in the cabin. The container must not exceed 22"x13"x 10" and fit beneath the seat. Animals must remain in the container at all times while on board.Spirit Airlines does not transport pets in cargo.
Sun Country Airlines
$75 per flight
Sun Country accepts small cats and dogs (16 lbs. or less) in the aircraft cabin on flights to within the contiguous United States. Sun Country does not transport pets on flights to/from Anchorage. Only one pet per ticketed passenger is allowed.
Advance arrangements are required and availability is limited. Your pet in its carrier is considered a carry-on item and must be included in your regular carry-on allotment. Only one pet per carrier is allowed. You must provide a carrier (soft-sided only) for your pet that does not exceed 16" x 11" x 8".
Sun Country does not accept animals of any kind as checked baggage or cargo.
Your pet is not included in your free baggage allowance. Rates are based on the weight of your pet.With advance reservation, small dogs and cats may be accepted in the cabin. Please note that the valid regulations for the protection of animals have to be observed. Your Swiss Airlines sales office or your travel agent will inform you about the details.If the respective country regulations permit the export, transit and import, Swiss Airlines will transport your pet in the cargo compartment. Special transport conditions apply for certain dog races. Your Swiss sales office or your travel agent will inform you about the details.

Carry-on pets -
$125 each way

As checked baggage -
$250 each way
within the U.S.
& Canada

Your dog can travel in three ways: in the cabin with you, accompanying you as checked baggage or unaccompanied as cargo. All options require advance reservations and are subject to a charge. A small dog, can travel with you in the passenger cabin if it is small enough to fit comfortably in a kennel that is placed under the seat. Animals are never allowed out of the kennel during flight.

Your pet may accompany you on your flight as part of your checked baggage, riding in the pressurized and heated cargo compartments of the same aircraft as you are ticketed. Pets as checked baggage will be accepted at the airport check-in counter and delivered to the baggage claim area at your final destination.

An unaccompanied pet will travel by United Cargo. Animals in the cargo system are accepted at the cargo facility and travel in the pressurized cargo compartments of the aircraft. Fees vary based on weight, size and destination. Extreme weather guidelines will apply, preventing cargo shipment of any live animal when the temperature is forecast to exceed 85F at any point in the animal's journey.
USA3000 Airlines
$75 per segment
for pets in cabin

$125 per segment
for pets in hold

Pets may travel in the cabin if qualified by size & weight. Pet carrier must be an approved pet type, hard or soft sided. It must fit under the seat in front of passenger - maximum dimensions are 10.5" x18 "x11". Weight of the pet + carrier cannot exceed 15 pounds. A health certification is required. Call to request space for your pet. A limited number will be allowed on one flight - acceptance on a space available basis.For pets carried as checked baggage must be shipped in a FAA/Airline approved kennel of a size that allows the pet to stand up, lie down and turn around. The maximum size kennel acceptable is a #500 series - maximum dimensions 40"x27"x30". Kennel must display the words Live Animal and arrows pointing up on either side of the kennel. Kennels without these markings will not be accepted.
$100 each way
Carry-on pets are not allowed on transatlantic flights. Only dogs and cats are allowed to/from Mexico and Costa Rica. Call 800-428-4322 for additional requirements for international travel.

If you are traveling to an international destination or Hawaii, there may be restrictions. Restrictions vary by destination, and customers should contact the appropriate embassy or consulate at least four weeks before the trip. For travel to Hawaii, customers should contact the Hawaii Animal Quarantine Branch directly for quarantine requirements.

US Airways hub cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas have extreme temperatures that regularly exceed 100 degrees. For the safety of your pet, US Airways does not accept any animals in its cargo compartments.

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